Tauto Sansbury, Image - caama.com.au

Tauto Sansbury, Image – caama.com.au

My name is Tauto Sansbury.

I was born on Point Pearce Mission in 1949.

By the time you read this letter I will be 66 years old. By now I should be a fully initiated man speaking my native tongue, telling my stories and handing them down to my children, grand children and their children. Well I’m not. Is this my fault?

No it isn’t.

Being born on Point Pearce you were not allowed to speak your native tongue or practise your culture, customs or tradition.

The church didn’t allow that and neither did the missionaries. They said it was God who didn’t like you speaking your language or practising your culture, song and dance, because it was a heathen tongue and heathen practises.

And if this is the price of colonisation then I, along with my family – my uncles, aunties, cousins and many thousands of Aboriginal people from across Australia – have paid a price that is far too high and can never be paid back to us.

I believe in my Aboriginality.

My heart is black, red and yellow and I don’t have any room there for the Australian or British flags.

So don’t tell me “It happened more than 200 years ago, now get over it.”

It happened to me and I live with the pain to this day.

– Tauto Sansbury Narungga, Kauna, Wirangu.